My Corner of the World

My Corner of the World -

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

I made split pea soup in the Instant Pot (IP) last night for the first time.  I’m not a big fan of pea soup but I think that’s because I usually have had it from a can and it’s been a looooong time since I’ve had any at all.  Anyhow, last night I thought I’d try it.  It was really something I came up with in my head after seeing no actual recipe that I wanted to follow.  A lot of recipes called for ingredients I didn’t have so this is what I came up with.  We all enjoyed it (my uncle even had a couple of servings!), so I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought it turned out pretty good :-)

Ingredients:

  • About 3/4 head of celery
  • About 1 c finely sliced or chopped carrot (see note below)
  • About 9 c water
  • About 3 tbsp chicken Bovril
  • 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
  • 3 c split peas
  • 2 c cubed ham (no bigger than 1″)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 3/4 tsp savory
  • 3/4 tsp thyme

Preparation:

Add water and celery to the IP (it should come up to about the 10 c mark).  Pressure cook for 20 minutes (I used the meat/stew setting).  Do a quick release of the steam.  When safe to continue, carefully blend with an immersion blender to shred all the celery up (it should be very soft at that point).  Add remaining ingredients and stir well.  Pressure cook on the same setting for 40 minutes.  Do a quick release and when safe to continue, stir with a large spoon to break up the clumps of peas and give it a smooth consistency.

Notes:  

  • This will give you a very creamy texture to the soup without any pea pieces (they get mushy), but it’s very nice.
  • I left the celery in large pieces about 4″ long and used my immersion blender on it when cooked.  If you’d prefer not to do this, just thinly slice the celery before putting it in the IP.
  • Next time I will add a good cup (maybe 2!) of sliced carrots (I didn’t think I had any but turns out I did in the basement!).

Banana Cake

I found a banana cake recipe on Canadian Living’s site but modified it somewhat.  This is what I came up with and it’s quite good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c baking Splenda
  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c mashed banana (about 3)

Preparation:

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Mix wet ingredients and bananas in another bowl.  Incorporate dry ingredients into wet ones and mix well (a hand blender or beater does wonders).  Pour into a greased cake dish (I used a 9″ square Pyrex dish) and bake at 350F for 50 – 60 minutes.

Beans

beans

I made beans in our 6 qt Instant Pot (IP).  They turned out really well!  It didn’t make too much and 4 of us ate well from it with leftovers remaining at the end.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c pinto beans dry, rinsed
  • c water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 500 g pack of bacon (cut in 1″ slices)
  • 2 medium sliced onion
  • 3/4 c molasses
  • 1/4 c packed brown Splenda (1/2 c if using regular brown sugar)
  • 1/2 c ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 c white wine 

Preparation:

Put first 3 ingredients in the Instant Pot (IP) and pressure cook for 60 min.  Slice bacon and onions, set aside.  Make mixture with remaining ingredients except wine.

When the IP has finished its cycle, release pressure naturally or quickly, it doesn’t matter.  Drain beans (there won’t be much water left) and set aside in a big bowl.  In the IP, add bacon and onions, sautée until onions are soft and bacon is fairly cooked (not crispy).  Deglaze with white wine, let it reduce.  Add beans and molasses mixture to IP, stir gently to mix everything, and pressure cook for another 30 min.

Beef Stew

Who doesn’t love stew?  Especially when it’s cold out, nothing warms and soothes quite like it.  Here’s how I do mine in our 6 qt Instant Pot (IP).

Ingredients:

  • about 3 lbs beef, cubed, trimmed of fat
  • about 5 med. potatoes, cubed
  • 1 small bag of baby carrots
  • about 4 or 5 stalks of celery, cut up in chunks
  • 2 large onions, cut in eighths
  • Other veggies (optional, just watch your IP space limits)
  • 4 c water
  • 2 packets gravy (I usually use French’s) or make a thickening agent of water, salt, and flour

Preparation:

Set the IP to the sauté setting and let the beef brown while you prepare the veggies.  Turn the beef a couple of times to get both sides browned.  Add vegetables and water to the IP.  Cover and set to “Meat” setting and let it pressure cook for 45 minutes.  Everything will be so tender when it’s done.  I do a quick release when it’s done.  Remove cover and set to sauté.  Add gravy packets or thickening agent and stir well.  Let the gravy heat a little for about 10 minutes.  Give it one final stir and serve.

Apple Dumplings

Oh my, my new favourite recipe for the Instant Pot (IP)!  I love experimenting and finding out that I’m a genius in the kitchen ;-)  I didn’t take specific measurements but I’ll try to be as accurate as possible.

Ingredients:

  • about 2 c. homemade bisquick mix (bought stuff would work too)
  • Milk, about a 1/2 cup but you’ll have to use a judgment call
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 c. white baking Splenda (or sugar if you prefer to use real sugar)
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into about 8 chunks
  • 1/4 lb butter
  • about 1 tbsp brown Splenda (use real brown sugar if you prefer)
  • about 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c. water

Preparation:

Set the IP to the sauté setting and add butter.  As soon as it melts, add cinnamon and brown Splenda.  Mix well and turn to the “Keep Warm” setting.

Mix bisquick and baking Splenda in a mixing bowl.  Add the egg and a little milk, mix well.  Keep adding milk until the mixture reaches a doughy consistency.  You don’t want it to be thin and it’s a little easier to work with if it’s a little on the dryer side than too wet/sticky.  Once well mixed and the desired consistency is reached, add the cup of water to the IP and mix well.  Take a piece of apple and wrap it completely in a layer of dough.  It will be a messy task, don’t be afraid to use your hands.  Place in the IP.  Repeat until there’s a loose layer of dumplings in the IP.  Don’t put more than one layer in.

Place the cover on the IP and set to Manual setting and pressure cook for 15 min.  You can let it vent naturally or do a quick release.  It’s awesome with ice cream, especially maple walnut.  Enjoy!

Homemade Bisquick

This is a basic recipe I use for just about everything…  I’ve made cookies with it, dumplings (sweet ones and savory ones), biscuits…  It’s very versatile.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. all purpose flour (although whole wheat also works)
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cold butter

Preparation: Mix all in dry ingredients.  You can either use a pastry blender to  cut the butter into it, but I prefer doing a couple of batches at a time in my food processor.  Whichever method you prefer, blend until it reaches an almost fine crumbly kind of texture.  You may want to add a bit more butter if it’s not reaching the consistency that  you like.  It should not be wet.  I put it in a Ziploc freezer bag and store in my cupboard for months at a time.

Instant Pot Beans

I’m trying this to see how it turns out in the Instant Pot (IP).

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of beans (pinto or navy)
  • enough water to cover the beans a few inches for soaking
  • 1 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. molasses
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown Splenda (or 2 tbsp regular brown sugar)
  • 1 kg of 2″ bacon pieces (use less, but we really like bacon)
  • 2 med. onions

Preparation: Soak beans overnight, drain, rinse, drain again.  Cook bacon until it starts to crisp up on the sauté setting of the IP.  While bacon cooks, make mixture of liquid (molasses, maple syrup, Splenda/brown sugar, and water) and salt. Remove  bacon with a slotted spoon and drain the fat from the IP insert.  Again on the sauté setting, cook onions until they’ve started to soften up, add a tbsp bacon grease if needed.  When done, add half of the liquid mixture and deglaze insert.  Add beans, bacon, and remaining liquid.  Stir. Use meat/stew setting for 60 min. to pressure cook, 80 min. if you want the beans to be really soft.

French Bread

This makes really good crusty bread!  If you like it a bit softer, once it cools, throw it into a ziplock bag and seal it a while.  I got it from Robin Hood’s web site and posting a slightly modified version here because it’s sometimes easier for me to access.  I prefer making my bread in the oven, so I’m listing the instructions for that, not for baking in the bread machine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 1/4 c. All purpose flour
  • 2 tsp bread machine yeast

Preparation: In order listed above, add ingredients to bread machine.  Put it on the dough cycle.  When done, split dough and place in loaf pans or cookie sheet (if you want to make rolls or baguette type bread).  Let rise in a warm draft-free area for 20-30 minutes (I like to turn the oven on for 1 minute at 350 F, then I turn it off, and place the bread inside).  Bake at 350 F for 15 min. for a regular loaf, or 10-12 min. for rolls or baguette.  Broil at 450 or 500 for a minute (set a timer because you don’t want to forget it!) until the top has browned nicely.

Leftover Turkey Chili

chiliWe bought an Instant Pot (IP) during a black Friday sale at Walmart (Canada) for just under $49 (how could I pass up a half off kind of deal??).    I’ve made a few beef stews up (just throwing this and that into it) and love it.  With Christmas just passed, I need to use up my leftover turkey so I’m attempting turkey chili.  Sure it’s not ground turkey, but I think it’ll be ok.  So here’s what I’ve done…

  Ingredients:

  • 2 med. onions, chopped
  • 2 chopped red peppers
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 bag of dried red kidney beans (you can use other kinds like pinto)
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • about 3 c. chopped turkey
  • 2 large cans diced tomatoes (796 ml)

Preparation: Sauté onion and red pepper in the IP until softened. Rinse beans well and add to IP along with 4 c. water. Pressure cook for 30 min.  I used the meat/stew setting and decreased it to 30 min. from its 45 min. default. When cycle is done, carefully vent the IP.  Carefully remove lid and add remaining ingredients.  Give it a stir to mix everything up and pressure cook for another 30 min.

Green Tomato Ketchup

Nanny would always make this in the fall. I always looked forward to getting some as part of Christmas presents and sometimes just as a treat. I never came across a recipe in her collection, but I did find a recipe online for it that is pretty bang on. I cut the amount of sugar in the original recipe and will be making it this week again with leftover green tomatoes from our garden.

If you don’t have green tomatoes, this works equally well with red tomatoes. There’s really no difference in the taste, just the appearance.

Ingredients:

  • 30 green tomatoes, chopped (about 6 pounds)
  • 15 medium onions, chopped (about 3 pounds)
  • 2/3 c coarse salt
  • 3 c white vinegar
  • 2 c granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp mixed pickling spices, tied in cheesecloth

Preparation:

In a large bowl, alternate layers of tomatoes and onions, sprinkling each layer with salt.  Let stand for at least 8 hours, better overnight. Rinse; drain well.

Combine vegetables with vinegar, sugar and spice bag. In a large saucepan or stock pot, bring mixture to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for about 30 to 45 minutes. Stir frequently until slightly thickened. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal.